Photographer of South African origin was born in Johannesburg on 11 November 1926.
In 1947 he moved to London, where he attended a photography school.
In 1950 he returned to Johannesburg and opened a photographic studio, working in the field of advertising.
He returned to London in 1968 where, a few years later, he opened a new photographic studio.
Well known for nude photography to which he has given a considerable contribution, he was also famous for his pre-Photoshop elaborations.
In the female nude you can see the careful and accurate professionalism of the still life photographer.
He is also an excellent draftsman and often inserts drawings in his shots (Cowboy Kate).
A great lover of fashion styling, from 2000 to 2005 he focused on fashion photography for Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, Allure and New York.
Haskins closely follows the changing of fashions and new trends, so much so that he writes: “the satisfaction of the public must be the main stimulus that inspires any artist”.
In 2006 he publishes a new one Cowboy Kate edition, with some additional images.
Gorgeous are her black and white nudes of the heroines of "Cowboy Kate", with grainy details, intense contrasts, bold cuts and a very high level layout. His photomontages are perfect.
He died in 2009, while preparing his latest work, Fashion Etcetera, for the edition.
Throughout his career, he has used cameras of all kinds, but he has always had a particular fondness for the Asahi Pentax, both in 35mmm and 6x7 format .
Sam Haskins in his Chelsea studio
With a Pentax 35 mm and a Pentax 6x7
He also used the optical bench a lot
Among his beloved machines
With Big Bertha its large optical bench or
Self-portrait in studio with model
In recent years, he has also made use of digital cameras.
In a photo of his son Ludwig, behind a digital Hasselblad for a Harper's Bazaar shoot
He made the following photo books:
Five girls (1962);
Cowboy Kate and othet stories (1964);
November girl (1967;
African Image (1967);
Haskin Posters (1972);
Photo graphics (1980),
Sam Haskins in Bologna (1984);
Cowboy Kate (Director Cut) (2006) - New edition digitally remastered by Haskins,
with the addition of writings and 16 pages of new photographs.
Fashion Etcetera by Sam Haskins (2009).
B. & W
Coffee at dawn
This small set of photographs is the only one with a clear erotic streak that Haskins has ever produced.
The models are husband and wife and they too are the only couple that Haskins has dedicated himself to in his work.
It is Haskins' third major work. Made in 1967. It is the ode to a love cut short by death. A woman mourns her dead man. She, like an angel, will fly over the church, will look for her lover in the clouds, waiting for the month of November, the month of the dead, when he will return to her. The suffering of the woman is narrated in her gaze and in her actions.
Spirit lifted up
It is the best known and most beautiful photographic book by Sam Haskins. One of the few great photo books of all time, backed by technically perfect photography. Cowboy Kate & Other Stories it is at the same time a hymn to the beauty of women and to her cleaner and more elegant sensuality.
The book was created in the 60s, when photography was entrusted to absolute and total professionalism, not enslaved by automatisms and even less by the use of digital devices.
The images were obtained by making the most of the development solutions and the printing papers, in order to obtain beautiful "grainy" and incredible contrasts, which made Sam Haskins legendary.
The exaggerated overexposures, together with the contrasts, at the limit of the gray scale, give the subjects such sharp and defined outlines, as to seem that they have been drawn with the laser and inside these pure and unreal lines there is Kate with her soft curves and sexy, full of erotic sweetness.
With Cowboy Kate & Other Stories, which was considered the first creative black and white book of the twentieth century, where the expressive possibility of black and white and film grain was explored, in 1964 Haskins won the Nadar award.
Kate is a magnificent gunslinger, struggling with the world of the far west, represented by saloons, tin stars, can-can dancers and above all pistols with the inevitable belts.
When Sergio Leone designed the triology "For a Fistful of Dollars", "For a Few Dollars More", "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly" in 1964, he always had a copy of Cowboy Kate with him.
Kate was a beautiful girl, white as flowers, warm as sunlight, wild as whiskey,
swinging like a lamp hanging from the ceiling.
He was a cowboy, the kind of cowboy that all of the Old West dreamed of. He spent the day cleaning the gun, polishing its rattling spurs
and he was sunbathing. Every night when the moon appeared, she dropped her playthings and was ready for action.
At night, he got on his big bicycle and high in the saddle, with long legs, he galloped, towards the lights of the noisy saloon,
where the men drink, play poker and duel and the dancers dance, while the whiskey flows freely.
and Kate on a dark blue night, walked straight into the dark back saloon for a card game with Rosie.
We played poker, but Rosie was cheating, she had a hidden ace.
There was a strong exchange of words between Rosie and Kate. Rosie prepared to shoot
Kate did the same,
when a gunshot created a sudden silence ...
The sheriff ran over and arrested Kate